The Brewster Buffalo is a WWII fighter aircraft that served in early WWII. In 1939, it won a contest over the Grumman F4F Wildcat to become the first monoplane fighter aircraft for the U.S. Navy. When the U.S. entered the war, the Buffalos were obsolete due to their unsavory handling characteristics and lackluster performance, especially compared to the famous Mitsubishi A6M Zero.
The Buffalo saw most of its success in Finland against soviet fighters. During the Continuation War in 1941-1944, the Finnish Air Force Buffalos did well engaging and destroying many Soviet fighter aircraft at that time. In the first phase of that conflict, 32 Soviet aircraft were shot down for each B-239 (de-navalized F2A-1) lost, and 36 Buffalo “aces” were produced.
This Buffalo is made to represent either the B-239s operated by the Finnish Air Force, or the Navy Buffalos (3 U.S. liveries are included).
Features Of This Model Include
- Functional 3D cockpit with clickable throttle, prop control, mixture, master switch, and more
- Moving 3D flap and gear indicators
- 6 Finnish liveries and 3 U.S. Navy liveries
- Accurate flight model flown and tested by a pilot with similar real warbird experience
- Clickable animated canopy that opens and closes
- Functioning guns (weapons arm is on the left side mini-panel in front of the throttle column area)
- Detailed 3D cockpit with smooth modeling
OK, how to fly the Buffalo!
The prop control is a vernier rotate style knob, click it, or click and hold to turn it. Left is RPM decrease, right is RPM increase. That’s how it was on the real F2A!
Since there are no surviving Buffalos with fully intact cockpits, nor anything I could find on the interwebs to supplement the engineering info, I wasn’t able to model every single switch on the switch panel and/or what those switches may have done, but I gave you the essentials. The Master and Fuel Pump switches are on the right side switch panel. The master is outlined in red, and the fuel pump is the furthest forward toward the instrument panel.
It should be noted that the starter handle is just a click and hold starter (red handle on the right).
Fuel Pump ON
Prime (2 squirts)
Prop FULL RPM (it’s set there by default anyway)
Starter CLICK AND HOLD until it’s running!
Your gear handle and flap handle are down to the right below the pilot’s seat, the frontmost one is the gear (click once to raise, click again to lower), the rearmost is the flaps (click and drag for three flap detents up to 30 degrees). The indicators are sliders at the bottom of the panel. You can also use X-Plane keybinds or joystick buttons that you assign to raise and lower the gear/flaps which can make things easier so you don’t have to look down to move them.
Shutting down is simple, throttle down, prop full RPM, mixture cutoff, batt/fuel pump off.
The Buffalo has machine guns in the wings, and they work. The weapons arm switch is on the left side of the cockpit below the RPM gauge on the metallic side panel. Arm them and go to WWII!
Known for being a handful, the Brewster Buffalo was given an unflattering nickname during its service–The Flying Coffin. It’s a demanding taildragger, so you will need to be on top of the rudder the whole time during takeoff and landing, or it may get away from you. The Buffalo is different from most fighters because it’s slow and draggy (unlike a sleek P-51). Pulling power and adding flaps will slow it down fairly quickly, so be sure to pay attention to your airspeed on approach. Cruise speed isn’t all that great either, even the real Buffalos clipped along at a modest 160 mph. It’s a good flying plane all around despite its quirks and I hope you enjoy flying it as much as I enjoyed making it.